Stephen Harper’s new book about the populist uprising against globalization provides pithy insights into contemporary politics. But his lesser-known 2013 work about the early days of professional hockey reveals more about the author and his place in politics. Just as the Central Canadian elites once conspired to keep working-class players out of hockey, so they tried to keep Harper out of power, and failed on both counts. James Coggins detects a hint of gleeful revenge in the hockey-as-social-history writing of Canada’s 22nd prime minister.
The reference to women on social assistance in the headline of this 2010 piece by Mark Milke seems harsh and dated, but his argument against subsidies for professional hockey teams is as relevant as ever. Tax dollars subsequently helped build new rinks in Quebec City and Edmonton, although the former still doesn’t have an NHL team and Oilers’ fans increasingly think they don’t have one either. Next up to the trough are the Ottawa Senators and Calgary Flames, with the latter better positioned to squeeze taxpayers with a decent playoff run this spring.